Boks fresh and ready to get down to business against Wales

The Springboks have touched down in London and are fresh and ready to get down to business against Wales in their first Test of the season in Twickenham on Saturday.

It will be the first international outing for coach Rassie Erasmus and his team since lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in France in October 2023.

In the absence of Siya Kolisi, Erasmus selected an exciting 23-man squad that flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit will lead.

Uncapped players

The team also features four uncapped players: Edwill van der Merwe, Jordan Hendrikse, Ben-Jason Dixon, and Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

With their usual Test match preparation wrapped up in South Africa before departure on Wednesday night, Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said they would have a full rest day on Thursday to allow the players to switch fully into match mode.

“We did all the preparation we had to do back in South Africa, and we arrived in the UK this morning [Thursday] and will have a full day off as usual in a Test week,” Stick told SA Rugby media.

“With the team travelling overnight, the guys could sleep well, and the bonus for us is that there is only a one-hour time difference, which means we can stick to our routine going into Saturday’s game.

“The players will relax a little today and then we have our captains run tomorrow, and hopefully things will go well on Saturday.”

World Cup triumph is history

Stick was excited to be in London and back in full-out Test match mode, saying that their Rugby World Cup triumph in France is history.

“It’s back to reality being in London. What we achieved last year is history, and now it’s time to build something new,” Stick said.

“There are a few youngsters in our team that will get an opportunity alongside some of the more experienced players, so it’s going to be an exciting game.

“Wales will also be eager to play against the World Champions, so we know it’s going to be a tough game, and that’s exactly what we need to kickstart the season.”

The match is set to kick off at 3pm (SA time).

Springbok team to face Wales at Twickenham:
15: Aphelele Fassi (Hollywoodbets Sharks): 3 caps, 10 points (2t)
14: Edwill van der Merwe (Emirates Lions): Uncapped
13: Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles): 68 caps, 75 points (15 t)
12: Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins): 16 caps, 0 pts
11: Makazole Mapimpi (Hollywoodbets Sharks): 41 caps, 130 points (26t)
10: Jordan Hendrikse (Emirates Lions): Uncapped
9: Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles): 55 caps, 50 points (5t, 5c, 5pg)
8: Evan Roos (DHL Stormers): 5 caps, 0 points
7: Pieter-Steph du Toit (captain, Toyota Verblitz) 77 caps, 40 points (8 t)
6: Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs): 40 caps, 35 pts (7 t)
5: Franco Mostert (Honda Heat, Japan): 73 caps, 15 points (3t)
4: Eben Etzebeth (Hollywood Bets Sharks): 119 caps, 30 points (6t)
3: Vincent Koch (Hollywoodbets Sharks): 49 caps, 5 points (1t)
2: Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears): 64 caps, 85 points (17t)
1: Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks): 27 caps, 0 pts
16: Bongi Mbonambi (Hollywoodbets Sharks): 68 caps, 65 points (13t)
17: Ntuthuko Mchunu (Hollywoodbets Sharks): 1 cap, 0 points
18: Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers): 69 caps, 5 points (1t)
19: Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers) (3 caps, 0 points)
20. Ben-Jason Dixon (DHL Stormers): Uncapped
21: Grant Williams (Hollywoodbets Sharks): 8 caps, 10 points (2t)
22: Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (DHL Stormers): Uncapped
23: Damian de Allende (Wild Knights): 78 caps, 55 points (11 t)

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